As player-manager of the FC Toronto football team, Gary Louca is used to standing on the touchline, throwing his right arm in the air and shouting ‘offside referee!’.
But, when he did the same move while dancing around his living room in Buckland, Portsmouth, he had an epiphany.
Today, the 48-year-old songwriter’s football-themed pop song, Now Everybody Stand In Line, looks set to kick off the next big dance craze, just in time for Euro 2012 and the Olympics.
At the same time as coming up with his football-inspired dance moves, Gary wrote the chorus to a song to go with it.
Then he called his musical partner, Phil Owen (also based in Portsmouth). Says Gary: ‘We got together for Phil to come up with the musical arrangement and hey presto we had Now Everybody Stand In Line. We only started it at the beginning of November but it’s come together magically.’
Gary, who has previously had number one and two hits in the UK dance chart, explains: ‘It is a radio-friendly single that I reckon will be a global hit.’
The catchy tune by L & O (that’s Louca and Owen) features Portsmouth singer Greg Valentine along with rapper Dretonio, who has previously worked with the likes of Tinie Tempah and Katy Perry.
For the dance moves, Gary worked with Chris Todd, a choreographer with Fareham street dance crew Synchronize.
Gary continues: ‘I came up with the concept of a universal football dance. Chris then took the idea of my dance to another level and has come up the most amazing dance routine.
‘He’s created an irresistible party dance, with football moves that’s easy to learn. The whole world will be dancing to it.’
The eight-step dance is demonstrated in the music video for Now Everybody Stand In Line. Scenes are split between Gary’s studio and location shoots at local sites including Havant & Waterlooville Football Club and Play Football in Portsmouth.
It features Greg, Dretonio, a host of dancers, FC Toronto players and a champion football freestyler. And Gary is inviting fans across the globe to film themselves doing the dance and then post their videos on YouTube.
He says: ‘The good thing about the Stand In Line song is it’s a universal football anthem. I’m hoping it will get all countries dancing and singing.’
Gary plans to release the song within a month. He says: ‘We can release it ourselves on iTunes if we haven’t signed it to a major record label. We’re also looking for sports sponsorship from companies like Reebok or Adidas and I’ll be taking it to Midem in Cannes, which is to music what the Cannes Film Festival is to film.’
He has already started work on a follow-up single and plans to record an album.
But all this is just the start for Gary, who sees Now Everybody Stand In Line as a stepping stone towards a much bigger project.
His long-term ambition is to make a film about his football team, FC Toronto.
Gary has already made a fly-on-the-wall documentary and now plans to make a film based on a ‘ragtag bunch of old men past their sell-by date’.
He explains: ‘In 2009 I formed an amateur men’s Sunday league football team made up of a recovering alcoholic, a gambler and anyone else we could rope in. They played in the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard Football League, finishing bottom of division three with nil points. Now they’ve been transformed and are challenging for the league title.’
Gary hopes his song will raise the £60,000 needed to finish his film, Flipping Hopeless.
He adds: ‘It’s an uplifting feelgood movie, a real Brit flick. We have produced the first five minutes of the film as a promotional teaser and have taken a break to raise extra funding to finalise the film in 2012.
‘Ultimately that’s what this is all about. Hopefully I will be on set in the summer with several World Cup legends making cameos. Fingers crossed.’